January 25, 2012

Asking the Right Questions

New publication helps families know how to find addiction treatment

Steve Diogo
 
treatmentbrochureFor most people, addiction is a far-off mystery—until it hits home. Faced with a loved one’s addiction, most have no idea where to turn or what to look for in a rehab or recovery program.
 
A new resource from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) seeks to change that.
 
Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask, is designed to help individuals and families ask the right questions to know how to choose a drug treatment program. The guide is available free online or in hard copy through NIDA’s DrugPubs service.
 
“Treatment options can vary considerably, and families often don’t know where to begin,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. “This booklet highlights the treatment components that research has shown are critical for success, to help people make an informed choice during a very stressful time.”
 
The new publication is based on a NIDA resource describing the principles of drug addiction treatment from a research-based perspective. It recommends five helpful questions people should ask and explains what the research has found to be most effective. Specifically, the booklet explores these themes:
  • Is the program’s treatment plan backed by scientific evidence?
  • Is it tailored to the individual needs of each patient?
  • Does the program assess and adapt treatment as the patient’s needs change?
  • How long should the treatment take?
  • How do 12 step programs fit into drug addiction treatment?
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2010 an estimated 22.1 million persons aged 12 years or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year (8.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older).
 
The goal of drug abuse treatment is to stop drug use and help people return to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community. However, keeping patients in treatment long enough to achieve that goal can be difficult. Finding the right treatment for an individual’s specific needs is critical. This booklet describes available medications and evidence-based behavioral therapies; the need for comprehensive, tailored, and sustained treatment; as well as the reality of relapse and the role of community-level support.
 
Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask can be found online at drugabuse.gov. Hard copies can be ordered by calling 1-877-NIDA-NIH (1-877-643-2644) or by going online at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov.
 
Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide, which is the basis for this new publication, can be found here.
 
Steve Diogo is Editorial Director of RenewEveryDay.com. He can be reached at steved@reneweveryday.com.

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